Friday, April 11, 2008

A walk in the park

Now that the weather is mostly nice and usually mid-80's, last Sunday afternoon we made a picnic in Trinity Park.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

the Hillary Game

The Hillary Game, by has-been

Object of the game: To lie as often as you can without being tossed from the game.

Player pieces: Damage control and recovery skill development media card sets. Choose among spin doctors, media outlets, and town halls, or combination of each to perpetuate your lying (s)kills.

Game board: USA state map.

Declaring the winner: Open option to change the rules as you play.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Aww, the sweet smell of politics

I love politics. It was my college major. Ironically, theology and philosophy was my minor. Nowadays those disciplines all seem to play a crutial role in becoming president of the USA. Even more than politics, I love words.

In the past few months we've seen kitchen sinks thrown about for candidates who were accused of being full of nothing but words, and then a week later the same man was condemned because of someone else's words. It seems that the significance of words vary. According to the messages of some, good words are meaningless and bad combinations of words can hurt you.

I remember sitting in the congregation of Rev. Wright's church for the first time. It was packed and the choir all wore African garb but sang in the traditional black church gospel way. I was comforted by the others around me as they hugged me, grabbed my hands, and gave me warm greetings when they realized it was my first time. It is so easy to feel lost in a large congregation, but this church had a circular design and the pulpit was in the middle of the people.

Rev. Wright approached the pulpit and the very first words that came from his mouth relaxed me. In fact, they brought a smile to my face and immediately settled me. He used simple words and I felt the genuine nature of how he spoke them. It was his honesty in how he spoke that reached me. His words were simple, yes, and they were the first words from his mouth each time he came to the pulpit every Sunday morning.

I was alone in Chicago after being abandoned. It was the aftermath of a failed relationship that left me alone and grieving. I would forget my solitude on Sundays when I walked into the Trinity Church and I easily got lost in the news of the multitude of community programs and outreach spoken about and detailed in the booklet we received - our Sunday bulletin. It was a thick booklet. Half of it was filled with community outreach program information and activities. Reaching out to others was a guided focus and obligation of these Christians. The church is located in the black community, so naturally the outreach was to this community.

For the first time in my life, I was attending a church that actively and effectively served the community in which it resided.

But after a few minutes of flipping through the booklet, Rev Wright would appear at the pulpit with his million dollar smile. It looked warm. It felt warm. He then spoke his typical opening words that never grew old.

I don't know why we haven't had sound bites of that. I can still hear him as he looked around to greet us every Sunday morning. Looking around, smiling, he'd say and then pause with, "I love you."

And I believe him because the expansive church outreach confirms it. And so those simple opening words developed into a sermon of politics, government, God's plan and truths, and the people around me every week. I understood it, I embraced it, and I never lost love for all mankind while listening to it. He led me back to people and never separated me from anyone. He led me back to a community of all people and grounded my walk with the Jesus love concepts.

I miss that church. If you don't understand what he means and how he stands for God, then I offer his words to you, but from me: "I love you." If I had my way then I'd tell you not to ever let anyone tell you that good words are meaningless.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If I have my way....

I was wondering how long I would have to shut this blog down if I have my way. After all, I imagine that I am among 10 million other Americans vying for a representative spot in the Democratic Party this year and if I make it, my snide remarks about another prominent party member would be viewed as inappropriate.

I have moved into the next phase as a party volunteer already. I'm required to sign a confidentiality statement this week. I snickered as I read that notice just after reading that 900,000 Americans are on the FBI watch list. I snickered as I wondered, "Who's watching the FBI? Is it Bush? Could it be McCarthy Jr.? What do we really know?"

To avoid a dive into the paranoia, I quickly decided not to care. I don't think I'm up for that free trip to a camp in Cuba yet. There's several there and even one for the little kids. I heard the water sports were great...something called waterboarding or something. That sounds like it kicks surfing in the butt big time.

At any rate, I will not set my sights too high. My best bet is to continue to try and sift thru the Texas ballots and make copies under heavily supervised conditions. Closer to home we're making a block club and having a block party to encourage interaction and ward off insecurities that some of our neighbors are beginning to feel.

In 2008, the new black is NIMFY, (Not in my front yard). I never thought about devoting myself as a community organizer, and I never knew there was such a career. I just knew that there were people who did local stuff here and there. I won't wait to be named anything. I live here. I pay taxes here. My son lives and plays here. We are who we say we are because we make it, believe it, and then live it.

Care to join us?

Obama '08 ... We are the people we've been waiting for.... hail yeah!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

In Crook county, Wyoming, the candidates both received 50% of the vote.

Here's the next-day online headline results after the BIG Obama Wyoming caucus win. Is someone cooking fish at MSNBC? Also, no story could be found at all after flipping through half of one the the largest newspapers in Texas even though months ago they endorsed Obama. Hmmmm.

MSNBC: What women want. Hillary clintons appeal to female baby boomers
and then underneath that story is Obama had star power but minor role in Senate

CNN: Obama takes Wyoming caucus

Fox News Obama Regains Momentum, Illinois senator trounces Clinton in Wyoming caucuses on the road to critical contests

• CAMPAIGN WIRE: Obama Says He Won't Be Clinton's VP
Obama told KTVQ in Billings, Mont., Friday: “You won’t see me as a vice presidential candidate.”

“I’m running for president,” he told the television station. “We have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton, and have a higher popular vote, and I think we can maintain our delegate count — but you know, what I’m really focused on right now, because all that stuff is premature, is winning this nomination and changing the country.”

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fair play?

After Senator Clinton’s narrow win in the Texas primary, the headlines all screamed about her BIG WIN. I can hardly sleep tonight awaiting tomorrow’s big headlines for Obama’s comeback win in Wyoming. It’s a larger delegate spread than Clinton's in Texas by most reports.

And so the real issues at play here, those Which-Cannot-Be-Named, the emotions, the passionate supporters, and the media machine are all falling into historical patterns. Yes, I’ll call it now because it’s obvious.

Senator Clinton cannot beat Senator Obama in the remaining primaries or caucuses to take the nomination. Why doesn’t the press treat her like they did Huckabee? What is the race about? Are we really ready for this?

If the superdelegates side with the candidate with the fewer numbers, the Democratic Party will fold, or nearly fold. Or at least be severely damaged for years to come.

So when America’s Wonder Man vs. Cruella DeVille turned into America’s False Hopes vs. America’s Sweetheart on TV and in print, and it happened when the country realized that he really was going to win the nomination, it felt like a slap on many levels. The absence of headlines and coverage in the past two or three weeks feels like ‘more of the same’ kind of treatment. I know that I get vastly unpopular when I point to the obvious and it concerns those things Which-Cannot-Be-Named.

Senator Obama has chosen not to rush down this road about such things, and this is why he can win Wyoming and I cannot. I’d show up there and part-way thru this messy business I’d be shipped back to Texas to make more compost, or to find more pig tails to twist. At some point I just cannot read or watch anymore.

When congress people can say things such as, “The terrorists will dance in the streets” if Obama wins because of his middle name and there’s no backlash, but Obama’s advisor goes overseas off the record and calls Clinton a monster and he has to stop campaigning to handle the press, there’s a serious problem going on here.

When a candidate can consistently spread false and misleading information that has been proven to be false and misleading, especially caught in the lie live on TV during the Ohio debate [NAFTA], and still use the same platform to win that state’s primary then there’s a problem.

Mostly, for me, when a candidate moves to kill the spirit and involvement of America’s youth, a population who has never been so engaged in politics since the 1960’s, and uses middle-aged populous to bully them, there is a problem.

I don’t know how Senator Obama can continue to sit back and smile the way he does. I am certain that he anticipated this scenario. Unfortunately, I had hoped for a little more integrity from the American people and that few would buy into this historical game of how we divide people.

Well, the Presidential Race 2008 story isn’t finished yet but I’m not too enthused about these middle chapters. No one said it would be easy. It feels like the candidates are being pushed into a fight that they didn't want to have. I do lay more blame on the Clintons because they are running a campaign the way one would against someone from an opposing party.

Now, it's as if the entire country is sitting back waiting for Obama to drop a bomb on Clinton, and egging him to do so. Another day passes and he is simply smiling and moving forward. I see nothing weak about this man yet.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fact checker

***WARNING: The end of this post contains a very disturbing link. I'd like to find a way to verify, and those who know me know that I don't let things like this die without digging into it.

Yesterday I erroneously posted a slam against Senator Clinton's statements concerning winning Ohio. I removed it. I watched more clips of her making assertions about winning Ohio, and she was referring to the primaries. And so now I can continue with my fact checking ways.

1.) Ohio is so far down the line during primaries that the nominee is usually already decided by the time they vote.

2.) She's still wrong. Maybe she meant as far as she can remember. Ohio primaries picked the loser in 1912, 1932, 1952, 1960, 1964, and 1968.

Other errors [lies?]

The Canadian Government now says that it was the Clinton campaign who contacted them to downplay NAFTA shootout. Whatever. Let's not turn this into a we said/they said debate between two governments.

Big questions on both sides

Hillary made a huge deal out of her 2000 New York opponent to release his tax returns. She hasn't released any of her own since. After going bankrupt during the Whitewater trial, people want to know where all of this money has come from to grant loans to her campaign.

What happened during travelgate? Google it. Hillary seems to have had a key figure and 7 staff fired in the White House travel office, bringing in the FBI and attempting to have a man who headed up the office for 7 presidents jailed. [He was aquitted by a jury in under 2 hours]. She replaced the folks who were given an hour notice to clear their desks with her own people.

Why, oh why did she bring up Rezko? Must we re-live the Whitewater mini series? Well, yes. Obama billed the non-profit 5-7 hours to file papers, but not for Rezko. Conversely, Clinton billed the Rose Law firm 60 hours and had significant input on the land deal that sent the McDougald's to jail, [James McDougald died in jail a few weeks before he was to be released]. It seems as if the kitchen sinks that she's chosen to throw at Obama ARE FULL OF HER OWN DIRTY DISHES.

As far as Obama goes, it seems as if both sides have talked to the Canadians about NAFTA. So what? Maybe.

Granted, I am currently a die-hard Obama supporter, and I love to know the truth. I want people to be who they say they are. I think that uniting the American people is a tougher job than getting our enemies to the bargaining table. There's probably a variety of reasons why masses of people are behind this man. To read and hear insipid remarks about why we support him is condenscending. I admire his stand on maintaining his integrity and never stooping to the low levels of traditional politicking. The big question I have is how will he get her off of him and still maintain his position without a serious counter-attack. How can he do it without crossing that fine line of not hitting a woman? I cannot figure this one out and I pose this question to the other smart people like Barack. In the meantime, those of lower intelligence like myself will continue to write scathing anti-Hillary blogs.

Downright disturbing

The Clintons seem to have a certain affinity to use the "N" word and negative references to Jews. See interview from a long-time personal bodyguard. Cut and paste until i figure out how to make this a clickable link.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More DoubleSpeak

A day after admonishing Sen Obama, Clinton fails to immediately "reject" the words of a key Dallas Supporter who says "Obama's problem is he happens to be black." It took several approaches to inspire her camp to reject such rhetoric, but still the fact remains that we never heard it out of her own mouth.

Here's the AP story:

Clinton Pressed on Supporters Words
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:10 PM EST
The Associated Press

JANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A day after lecturing her presidential rival for not rejecting a controversial minister's support, Hillary Rodham Clinton declined Wednesday to reject one of her Texas backers who commented on Barack Obama's race.

During a series of satellite television interviews, Clinton was questioned by Dallas station KTVT about comments by Adelfa Callejo, a local activist who supports Clinton candidacy. The interviewer quoted Callejo as saying "Obama's problem is he happens to be black" and asked Clinton to respond.

"Well obviously I want all of us judged on our merits," Clinton said. "I believe strongly that the fact we have an African American and a woman running for the Democratic nomination is historical and I'm very, very proud of that."

"I want people though to look beyond, look beyond race and gender, look at our records, look at what we stand for, look at what we've done and I think that's what most voters are looking for," she said.

The interviewer asked Clinton whether she rejected or denounced Callejo's comment.

"People have every reason to express their opinions, I just don't agree with that," she said, adding "You know, this is a free country. People get to express their opinions."

During a nationally televised debate Tuesday in Cleveland, Clinton criticized Obama for refusing to reject an endorsement from National of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has made numerous anti-Semitic comments. Obama said he had been clear in his denunciations of Farrakhan's comments. Clinton suggested that was not enough.

Asked in the interview about her debate comments, Clinton said: "I don't see any comparison at all with what you're referring to and I don't know the facts of what you're telling me over the TV. So I'm just going to repeat that I want people to judge us on the merits."

Later, aide Doug Hattaway said Clinton was taken aback by the question.

"She had never heard of this before," Hattaway said. "If it was actually said, of course she denounces and rejects that kind of politics in any way, shape or form."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clinton DoubleSpeak?

Senator Clinton now says she thinks Senator Obama's idea to begin talks in the Middle East without preconditions is not the thing to do.

Oh yeah?

Ohio Debate ’08 Analysis

This was a very important debate. Key arguments and myths were brought to light. Candidate nick-picking was addressed. The debate was more than an opportunity to discover which candidate was better qualified to run America. This exchange approached a discussion about the serious undertones at play, which is race and gender.

All in all, Senator Clinton lost me.

To begin, it is significant that Senator Clinton moved into discussion that she had not been invited to comment on. It was a personal question about Senator Obama’s endorsement from Louis Farrakhan. The question was a chance for those who have been accusing Obama of being a separatist or radical to hear what he had to say about it, and Clinton wanted to draw blood. The hypocrisy of the entire argument about Obama’s religion and affiliations is that no other candidate who has declared to defend the United States and her sovereignty has needed to defend their religious beliefs. Obama’s repeated declarations as a Christian is sufficient and should have ended this argument long ago.

Farrakhan is not a Christian. Obama has also repeatedly stated that he neither shares nor endorses Farrakhan’s views, and this is not newsworthy either. However, the real feat is the ability of a leader who can bring people to the discussion table. In the Christian model, the table is open for discussion to anyone who will sit, but the endorsement only comes to things that are right. It was never significant that Farrakhan endorsed Obama. The character question is, “Who does Obama endorse?”

Thus far, Obama has continued to declare to fight for the average American, all-inclusive. This is the message that has propelled him to his super stardom status. People who fight that message are the ones who seem separatist and exclusive.

She seemed to echo the misperception that blacks do not want to be fully integrated into the US, and cannot seem to understand that remembering history is vastly different from having to continue to live new ostracisms and discriminations. Obama seems to understand that the constitution protects Americans, and all Americans have a place at the table, including those with varied ideologies. It was a divisive moment in the debate when she played the faith card. Obama ended up openly stating that he does not hate the Jewish community, and that he rejects Farrakhan’s statements. Maybe he does need a pillow to sit through her shenanigans.

As far as the first painful 16 minutes of the debate, the viewers had to endure an argument that no one knows anything about. Knowing our preferred candidate supports a universal health care plan is good, but no one has any details. The back and forth bickering was ridiculous and did nothing to help anyone. It was a waste of airtime and reminiscent of popular reality show tactics. And just when we smelled relief, Senator Clinton stopped the show because it was just too important an issue for her. The take-away message was that this is her only strength and she needed to dominate the debate with her one foothold.

What is debatable is how Clinton can be ready on day one as president when she is not ready for post-Super Tuesday. She has resorted to low blow politics and comic relief that doesn’t work. Before this debate I was feeling some compassion for her as the desperation eased into the overall picture, but now she’s simply losing respect. She seems to have forgotten that she is in the history books as a First Lady.

Clips of her patronizing Senator Obama for delivering his messages of hope were shown. I watched and wondered what she would have said about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. if she were campaigning in the 1960’s. I also watched her clips on the “Shame on you Obama” press conference. Well Hillary, I am disappointed. I’m just simply and completely disappointed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Si Se Puede!

We went to the rally at Reunion arena to see Barack. Emmitt Smith gave a decent speech after former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk fired up the crowd before Obama took the stage.

My son continues to talk about being a part of history. I knew that it would be a new experience for him to hear the roar of thousands of voices in the stadium. He was in the midst of the ferver, the fever, the long Disney World-like lines, and the hours of waiting once inside. And then it happened. He saw his daddy dance.

I don't dance in public. He knew about my first date. I was the guy who went on his first dance and the girl laughed and left me on the dance floor. I know how funny I look when I dance. Even the guy standing next to me said, "I think your son is laughing at you dancing." Was that a nice way of telling me to sit my butt down?

We were pretty close to the stage and just a few rows from the floor. The platform with television cameras from all over the world were eye-level with our row. Al Roker walked right by us. He didn't stop to say hi, but when I danced, the camera's all seemed to turn my way. And guess what? I could care less. I was dancing for history. I was dancing for my son's future. I was dancing for the tears that tried to run out of my eyes when the National Anthem was sung. I was dancing for the demographic makeup of the crowd. I was dancing for what Barack has done.

I was dancing for me, and I didn't care what it looked like. All the way home on the train back to our house 50 miles away my son couldn't stop laughing as he repeatedly said, "Dad, I cannot believe you did that." My reply?
"Yes I did. And I wasn't the only one acting a fool."
He said, "Yeah dad, but when you danced, what kind of fool was that?"
Well, I don't really know. However, it is a great feeling not to care. Isn't it great to believe that we can be who we really are and have it not be such a big deal?

By the way, the guy next to me changed seats.

The speech that changed America - Barack in NH

Derrick on Obama - inspirational

Barack in Dallas